Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bottomless pits


I've been busy visiting several doctors over the last few weeks (co-pays really suck), and my computer is slow as can be, so I haven't had the time to blog.  Nothing overly exciting has happened that I can recall.  Let’s see:

*Daniel took me out for dinner during Norfolk Restaurant Week.  We went to a little Italian place called The Vineyards.  It was really quaint and cozy. 

Our waitress was adequate and the food was pretty tasty.  Here’s a shot of our 4th course:  NY Cheesecake with raspberry sauce for him and fresh cannelloni for me!

*I hung out with a few Sorors on one of the hottest evenings of the summer and we had a bonfire!

We roasted hot dogs and sausages, made S’mores, drank wine, and played Taboo!  It was really nice to get out of the apartment and spend time with lovely women (sorry for the dark photos--I've got a new phone--but no flash).

*Yesterday, my family celebrated my nephew’s 12th birthday!  Quay stated he wanted Red Lobster, so I met him, my brother and father around 4 to eat some grub. 

My older brother, Lil' Charles.

Of course, I immediately gobbled down a Cheddar Bay biscuit as soon as they were brought to the table—they’re just SO good!  I had already given myself a limit of 2 once I found out where we were going---if I hadn’t, I would eaten the whole basket alone.    :o)

Dinner was great!  I don’t get to spend too much time with these 3 guys, so it was nice to catch up.  My nephew ordered a meal that included lobster, shrimp, rice, an entire plate of French fries, and something else.  HE ATE THE ENTIRE THING!  As well as a few crab legs from my dad and brother, several biscuits, and his birthday ice cream from the restaurant.  Afterward, he said he was still hungry.  Who knew 12 year olds could eat so much?!?

Pop and the birthday boy.
Afterward, I decided to stop by my grandmother’s house to say hello—I hadn't seen her in about a month.  I also wanted to give her a framed picture from Daniel and I that sat in my back seat for the last few weeks.  While visiting with her, my little brother stopped by as well.  (Long story short, when I came back from my honeymoon, I found out my dad has another son, Blayden.  He is going through chemotherapy right now because he has cancer.  He just turned four).  He’s really warming up to me now—he immediately walked up to me and put his arms up for a hug!

*And the only other thing I've done out of the ordinary is that I gave Tierra a bath--FYI, yes she is talking to me again.

I guess that's a nice recap of the last few weeks.  I hope you have an amazing week!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Kinky Twists

On Friday, I went to get my hair braided!  I left work early and made it to the salon around 10:30.  This was a new stylist to me (Sheba) so we talked for a few minutes about my transition to natural hair and the most important thing to remember:  moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

For those that don't know, braiding takes HOURS to do.  I knew I was in for a long haul, so I brought sustenance with me--my 80 ounce jug of water that is always with me, a peanut butter and honey sandwich, rice krispie treat, banana, and a little white cheddar popcorn.

About 8 hours in.
Since I was in a joint salon/barber shop there was plenty to entertain me! (I also had a magazine and book in my purse)  The barbers were hilarious!  Talking smack, flirting with random women that walked in, and the funniest of all:  their reaction when they saw Beyonce's new video "Best I never had".  You would think they had never seen a woman in lingerie (pronounced leeng-err-reee) before!

One woman came in with her drunk friend.  She had bright, kool-aid red hair, and a tight, supershort sundress.  She sat around for an hour or so and then left in a huff because the men weren't paying attention to her!

Are we done yet?
Anyhoo--I digress.  So I have to tell a "not-so" secret.  I have an unbelievably large head.  Seriously.  I get it from mi padre.The crazy thing is that you don't realize how large it is until you're actually doing my hair.  So a few minutes after the 1st picture was taken, I had to go to the store and buy 2 more packs of hair (my stylist doesn't provide hair-you bring it with you).  That gave me a nice little stretch---sitting still is not a strong point for me. 
Getting the ends curled with a piece of yarn.

The hair braiding commenced at 10:45am and I walked out at 10:50 pm.  12 hours ladies and gentlemen!  Sheba and I are TROOPERS!  

Daniel's reaction.
Sorry for the blurry photo-Daniel LOVED the style.  He couldn't stop staring!  

I've got dinner burning (literally), so I've got to run.  Have an amazing week everyone!!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Adventures in kayaking


The pics from our kayaking adventure arrived!

We decided to do the 10:30am tour, because 7:30 was just too early.  Daniel works until late at night, so his internal clock would not allow such early morning festivities.  The forecast said it would be 90 degrees, but we new that would be perfect out on the water!

We arrived and began walking towards the dock.

 and were greeted by the best tour guides in VA Beach--Daniel and Cody!

Once everyone in our group arrived (4 couples, 2 guides, and the business owner) we discussed our route.  A quick tutorial was given on how to stroke, stop, and move backward.  Later in the water we learned to turn in a circle.  We were also given instructions on what to do if we fall in, but we knew that wouldn't be an issue for us.

We got into the kayaks and pushed off.  We started at the Owl's Creek boat launch, headed into Rudee's inlet, and then into the Atlantic Ocean.  What fun!  

We already slathered our bodies in sunscreen and I was so happy we did.  Not only was the sun blaring from above, but the reflection in the water hit us from below.  Throughout the trip, you could find me dipping my hand in the water and splashing it on my legs.

Unfortunately, there is only 1 picture of dolphins, even though we saw at least 7 (one came fully out of the water for us! for their food).  It was amazing to see their gleaming bodies.  I can't even describe it.  At some point, you could even hear them breathing!  Oh, and a random crab came swimming under our kayak.

They call him Flipper...fasting than lightning...

The guides talked to us throughout the trip--pep talks, stroke tips, and trivia about dolphins and the area where we are floating.  Everything is fine and dandy and then:

We were laughing hysterically.

I still don't even know how it happened!  Once second we're floating merrily in the Atlantic Ocean, and the next, we're in it!  Steve (the owner) snapped a few pics of us and then helped us back into the kayak.  

Who is that handsome man?  I'll save you!

Notice the skewed visor--thankfully my glasses didn't fall in!

Since we were already in the water, 2 other couples decided to get in for a few minutes too!  Once everyone was back in the kayak safe and sound, we started the trip back to the dock.  We took a few pics with the VA Beach Boardwalk behind us

and I waved to others out on the water (FYI, in the water, the right away is given to the person/vehicle with the most tonnage.  So if something is approaching and you weigh less, it's your obligation to get out of the way--who knew!!!)
Practicing for the day I win Miss America.

the other Daniel!

Cody and his awesome hat.

I can honestly say this was an experience I never imagined I would have.  The older I get, the more time I want to spend outdoors having fun, instead of indoors watching TV or reading.  I would definitely recommend doing this type of thing with your family.  Actually, Steve said he's had as young as 4 and as old as 87 on one of these trips!

 I'll put pics of my new hairstyle up tomorrow.  I've got to get to the gym and they close at 4.  Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hair update-1 month

Hi!  I had an amazing time yesterday--we kayaked in the ocean to see dolphins!  I'll post more about it as well as pictures once I receive them in the mail.

Hair update

So I figured monthly updates would suffice concerning my transition to natural hair since hair doesn't grow quickly enough to warrant more than that.  I'm planning on getting kinky twists this week (a braid style), so I'll definitely post more pics then.  Here is what my hair looks like at 1 month with no creamy crack--as you can see--the part is still visible!  Yay!

I don't really have much new growth yet (that's the new, virgin hair coming in at the roots).  It's becoming more difficult to comb, but my hair is still 99% relaxed.

I have done co-washing twice now and I'm a fan.  My hair isn't being stripped of it's natural oils, and it's getting just as clean.  My scalp feels healthier as well.  Basically I do a normal wash technique, but with conditioner instead.  After I've saturated my hair with the conditioner, agitated my hands through my scalp and rinsed, I then put a little more conditioner on to sit for a few minutes.  Then I rinse like normal.  My hair feels silky smooth!

Tierra Skye Cook

From a previous post, you know that we have a new kitten in our family, Tierra Skye Cook (sound familiar?).  About a month ago, I received a text from Daniel's sister stating that she heard meowing and went to investigate outside of her apartment.  She found a mama cat and 2 kittens in a trash can--on trash day.  Horrible, right?  So she asked if Daniel and I wanted one.  He and I had been talking about a pet for a few months so we decided to add her to our little family.

Tierra-her 1st day with us
We made her an appointment and took her to the vet, and other than some swelling in her hind-parts, and a respiratory infection, she was healthy as can be!  Daniel and I talked about names and he stated he wanted to name her after me (my middle name is Tierra) and since Tierra means "earth" in Spanish, we decided to add Skye (earth and sky).  

Anyhoo--she fit in immediately!  She's so silly and accident prone--just like D and I.  Her crying can be extremely annoying, but we love her to death.  She's a great addition to our lives.
She fell asleep--in my SHOE!

Apparently, my feet don't stink--boo yah!

When we took her to the vet, we asked how old she was.  The vet responded around 6-8 weeks old.  We had gotten married 6 weeks before on April 15th, so we kind of took that as a sign that she really was meant to be with us.

Sleeping near the kitty litter--yuck!
This post is beginning to get extremely long, so I'll end it now.  I'll be back later in the week with hair pics and hopefully dolphin pictures!  I'll leave you with a picture of me and 2 of my favorite people in the world--my line sisters (LS). I'll talk more about them, and my sorority, in future blog posts.

The blu-tiful O.C., Ezpionage, and me-Blueprint! UWG Homecoming 2008

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

We didn't get lost this time!

Getting lost in the woods completely shut my brain down!  I didn't even blog about the bike ride on Saturday evening in Ghent. Daniel works 1/2 days on Saturdays and then usually heads over to his brother's place to hang out with them.  However,  it was cancelled so we decided to spend it biking around a place we would eventually love to move to.  Ghent is a tiny oasis in Norfolk.  You can walk everywhere--the grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants, parks, etc.  It's bustling with people and energetic, but it's also full of trees and quiet areas....I would LOVE to live there---but it's also expensive.

Fixing the bike rack

Anyhoo---we parked and headed out and my seat flipped up (extremely painful by the way).  So we had to circle back and get the wrench out of the trunk to fix it.  Daniel decided to pocket the wrench in case the incident happened again and we hit the road.  Of course, I almost got hit--again.  "I'm still rusty" will continue to be my response if anyone asks (not the fact that I have no balance whatsoever!).

Just like our adventure on Sunday, we had some amazing views.  We even saw some prehistoric looking white bird (my phone couldn't capture it's unique-ness).  There are 2 things that Saturday's bike ride had that Sunday's didn't:
1--we didn't get lost, and

We didn't get lost!!!!  But it's still humid.

2--we had Skinny Dip!

Anyone who knows me understands that sweets are my weakness--but especially ice cream (UWG readers--anyone remember the Marathon!?!).  My favorite ice cream would have to be Haagen Daz, however 300 calories for 1/2 a cup of ice cream is utterly ridiculous.  Enter the Skinny Dip--it's a frozen yogurt self serve bar!

 Each day, they have several flavors to choose from and then you top it with your heart's desire.  You pay by the ounce, so you get as much or as little as you choose.  120 calories or so per serving isn't bad either!  So at the end of the ride, my WONDERFUL husband took me into the store and we got dessert.  I'm ashamed to say what I put on I don't remember much of what topped my coconut fro yo--but there were a few slices of banana--YAY ME!
The banana is underneath everything else--I promise!

Thanks for the fro yo, boo!
It's getting late, so I've got to finish dinner (steak, onions, and garlic cooked in crock pot over rice, and something green) and watch Hawthorne.  Have a great night everyone!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Lost in the woods

Yesterday was definitely fun.  Daniel and I decided to take our bikes and head to First Landing State Park on Shore Drive in Virginia Beach.  This park was one of the top reasons for buying bikes in the first place.  We hiked there about a year ago and have been planning to head back ever since.

I bought us new gel bike seat covers to make the ride more comfortable so we were definitely excited to try them out.  Little did we know how much comfort we would really need!

We started out really easy, just enjoying the scenery.  We traveled through forest, marsh, and a beach!

This was definitely more physical than the beach last week.  The boardwalk was flat and smooth, while the state park was gravel, then sand; as well as hills and valleys.

The Cape Henry trail is 6.1 miles.  We did 4 miles last week so we knew we could handle 2 more miles.  Of course, we weren't thinking about the terrain difference.   Even still, we knew it would be a great workout, especially with a nice morning breeze (we headed out on the trail around 9:30am).

After biking and sweating and trucking along, we see the 4 mile marker.  This is it!  We're in the home stretch!  We come out of the trail into 1 of 3 parking areas and head down a winding, concrete road toward the end.  We're laughing and talking about how this was the most difficult physical thing we've ever done.  How proud we are at accomplishing 6 miles.  And then we see it.   The trail opening that we left over 30 minutes prior.  We giggle nervously, but keep riding down the road. And then we see a gate that we've never seen before.  We ride through and see that we're on Atlantic Avenue!  We are facing the boardwalk that we road on last week!  We are miles from our car, exhausted, and now we have to double back and do it all over again.

We were not happy to say the least.  We decided to stop and fuel our bodies for another 5 miles (we didn't have to go back up the winding road since we saw the trail entrance 2/3rd of the way down).  I munched on a few almonds, while Daniel ate a banana.  I'm so glad I brought snacks with us!

The ride back was silent.  We didn't talk, laugh, joke, or anything we were doing before.  We just rode and rode and rode.  I almost wept with joy when I saw the 1 mile marker---I started shouting to Daniel--"did you see it?  Did you?  Only 1 mile to GO!!".  I dug deep, and peddled my heart out.  My legs were like jelly by the time we made it back to the car--3 hours after we set out.  6.1 miles turned in to an 11 mile adventure we won't soon forget! Keep in mind, before last weekend, I hadn't been on a bike in over a decade--my legs will probably hate me tomorrow.

Our early afternoon plans were abandoned.  Daniel was supposed to go to his religious service at 1pm and I was planning on walk/jogging around the neighborhood.  I jumped in the shower, and then jumped in bed with a book.  Daniel jumped on the couch with a video game.  A few hours later, we went to the movies with my father, brother and nephew to see Transformers 3.  It was a great movie and it was nice to spend time with my family.
My father, brother and I on my wedding day

Today we're taking it easy.  I've got a Groupon for Wild Wings in Chesapeake and a free redbox code.  We may even go watch fireworks tonight.  Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!